Patient retention is a key factor in growing a robust plastic surgery practice. Not only does it keep your patients coming back for additional procedures, it also increases your word-of-mouth referrals from happy patients that have made your practice an essential component in their lives. You may already understand the importance of patient retention and you may be taking steps to increase retention in your office. Did you know your patient’s history can have a direct impact on their willingness to return to your practice as well?
Patient retention actually begins with your patient’s first visit to your practice. Now is the time to begin building that relationship with your patient that will open the door to future procedures. The medical history can be the perfect tool for getting to know your patient, based on how you conduct the interview.
Consider shifting your line of questioning from physician-focused, which typically involves asking a long string of medical questions necessary to determining the safety and efficacy of the procedure in question. Instead, use a patient-centered approach that begins with a few social questions and moves into the medical inquiries. This style is much more likely to put patients at ease right away so that relationship can build naturally and comfortably.
Once you have initiated a positive relationship with your patient, you can bring your level of patient care to a higher level. By knowing your patient’s social and medical history, you are in a better position to recommend additional procedures that would provide the actual benefits your patient is looking for. In addition, when you know your patient’s history well, your patient feels like a valued part of your practice, rather than a number or revenue generator.
Patient history can also play a key role in your ability to track your patient’s follow-up care and incentive programs. Knowing your patient’s history of procedures – both with you and with other physicians – gives you the necessary information to establish incentive programs that actually work and promotions for procedures the patient might actually want. Knowing social history, such as your patient’s discomfort with surgical procedures, gives you the knowledge to recommend non-surgical treatments until your patient’s confidence builds with your practice.
While knowing patient history can offer a myriad of benefits in your patient retention efforts, it can be easier said than done for a busy practice that sees many patients every single week. This is where automation comes into play. First, EMRs allow you to pull up a patient’s file immediately, so all the information about the patient is at your fingertips. It also allows you to coordinate your patient’s information with other providers when necessary, to ensure seamless transition from medical to cosmetic care.
Second, practice management software allows you to automate functions like patient follow-up, so none of your patients fall through the cracks. This ensures that when a patient’s history indicates certain procedures should be recommended or incented, the process moves forward without fail. The efficiency of the right practice management software will keep your patients happy without overtaxing your office staff with administrative duties.
At PatientNOW, we understand the importance of patient retention in your practice and can help you use your patients’ histories to increase the retention rates in your office. Our software is customizable to your specific practice and increases office efficiency so you and your staff can spend less time at their computers and more time working directly with patients. To learn more, contact PatientNOW at 800-436-3150.
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